<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usFri, 24 Mar 2017 19:42:09 -0700Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:42:09 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Point Loma Man Pleads Guilty in Murder of Parents]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:01:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/HaynesCourt0112-PIC_0.jpg

The man who shot and killed his parents in their Sunset Cliffs home over the Thanksgiving holiday two years ago has pleaded guilty to murder, prosecutors confirm.

Peter Haynes entered guilty pleas Friday to two counts of first-degree murder after shooting and killing his parents in their Point Loma home.

On Nov. 28, 2014, San Diego police officers found the front door ajar at the home of David and Lissa Haynes.

Inside, officers found Lissa face-down. She was shot in the chest but beyond help, they said.

David was on his back, with six gunshot wounds to the stomach and back.

He was clearly in pain but able to speak, Officer Bradford Green testified at a pretrial hearing.

"My son shot me... with a glock," David said, according to the officer's testimony. "He is schizophrenic."

The couple died shortly after at a nearby hospital. 

Haynes was found hours later walking near the crime scene with a semi-automatic handgun in his pocket.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, with special circumstances that hint at premeditation. Prosecutors alleged Haynes had been lying in wait and that he committed burglary in the commission of the homicides.

Haynes received treatment at Patton State Hospital after his arrest. His defense attorney said he could not understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense.

His sister, Kimberly, told NBC 7 San Diego Haynes had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

A court ruled him mentally competent to stand trial.

After entering guilty pleas Friday to two counts of first-degree murder, Haynes faces 100 years to life in prison when he's sentenced June 9.

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<![CDATA[Lead Found in Water at Emerson-Bandini ]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:21:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/emerson-bandini-school-water-0302.jpg

A school in the San Diego Unified School District has notified parents that test results show some water on the campus has been found to have "higher than allowable levels of lead."

The lead was found in three of ten water samples taken from the Emerson campus of Emerson-Bandini Elementary School, according to the district. The school is located in Southcrest, northeast of the connector between Interstate 5 and State Route 15. A district school and a charter school are co-located on the Emerson Campus.

Three weeks ago, NBC 7's Wendy Fry reported on concerns about a strange odor in the water at the school. At the time, district officials told NBC 7 they were alerted of the odor on January 26th. As a result, the district sent samples out for analysis.


At the time, a district spokesperson said preliminary results indicated “some mitigation of the situation may be required.”

On Friday, Principal Heather Harris sent a letter to parents of students of the school and the charter, San Diego Cooperative 2.

In the letter, parents were told that a therapy dog refused to drink water from a sink in a charter school classroom.

The teacher saw "a sheen on the water that was similar to a sheen that can be seen when oil is on the surface of water," Harris wrote.

The district sampled water from several sources on the campus and results showed "levels of a contaminant that exceeded the state's allowable threshold," Harris wrote.

According to Samer Naji, a Facilities Communication Liaison with the school district, the contaminant in question is vinyl chloride (C2H3Cl) which is "generally related to plastic products and their degradation over time."

Naji said sample results showed a range from not detected to 2.35 micrograms per liter. The maximum contaminant level is .5 micrograms per liter.

The district's water provider, the City of San Diego, found similar results through its own testing.

"The contamination appeared to be isolated to the portable classrooms that house the charter school on the campus," Harris wrote.

Harris said workers replaced flexible lines leading from the wall to the plumbing fixture. That, along with no longer drawing water supplied through PVC pipe, seemed to fix the issue, she said.

While the school was testing for the strange appearance of the water in the charter school classroom, it was decided to also test for lead in the water.

Recently, there has been a series of instances in which parents and educators are concerned about school drinking water.

First, there was the discovery of lead in the drinking water at a San Ysidro elementary school.

Then, Warner Springs schools confirmed they are dealing with arsenic in the water there.

Soon after, the La Mesa Spring Valley schools' superintendent said water at all of its school sites was being tested.

In December 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water required all community water providers test for lead in drinking water at K-12 schools.

SDUSD will begin testing the water in all schools for lead beginning April 4.

The work will begin in the southeast neighborhoods where some of the district's oldest schools are located.

The district will work its way north and west until they've completed the testing - which is estimated to happen around the end of the traditional school year in June.

According to the district, the finding of lead at Emerson-Bandini did not trigger the decision to test the water in all district schools. It was already in talks with the City of San Diego, the school district's water provider, to perform the testing.

Here is what parents can expect:

  • Five schools will be tested each day
  • Up to five samples will be taken at each campus.
  • Drinking fountains, cafeterias and food preparation areas may be included.
  • Testing will happen in the morning, before classes begin
  • City of San Diego will analyze the water samples
  • Results will be posted at this link.

The County Health and Human Services Agency has put together information regarding lead poisoning. You can find that here.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Homicide Victim Found on Gompers Prep Campus Indentified]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:33:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gompers-Shooting-032417.jpg

The victim who was shot and killed near Gompers Preparatory Academy in Chollas View on Friday has been identified, the San Diego Police Department confirmed.

The victim has been identified as Cherkeiray Devonte Jones, 23 years old, of San Diego.

Residents heard multiple gunshots just before 6 a.m. on 47th Street near Hilltop Drive.

SDPD Homicide Lt. Todd Griffin said the man's body was found on Gompers Prep school property. The victim was not an employee of the school, he added.

Officers initially told NBC 7 the victim was found by a school janitor. Griffin said a school employee made the discovery while raising the school's flag.

Gompers is a middle school within San Diego Unified School District located south of State Route 94 and east of Interstate 805.

School officials were on their way to the scene, police said. Students are on  break until April 4.

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this breaking story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Two Story Home on Fire in Mountain View]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:57:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mountain-View-House-Fire.jpg

San Diego firefighters have knocked down the flames from a fire that started this morning and are now investigating the cause.

The call came in around 10:50 a.m. to the San Diego Fire Department (SDFD) about a fire that had erupted on 521 S 36th Street.

Thick, black smoke plumed over the two story home in Mountain View.

Once the smoke cleared, firefighters climbed the roof of the home working to extinguish the rest of the fire.

SDFD says that no one was seriously hurt, but a German Shepard did die in the fire.

The resident and owner of the German Shepard, Malachi Hightower, says he could not run back inside to save his dog.

According to Hightower up to seven people live in the home.

Hightower says that although his dog named Bentley didn’t survive the fire, he’s relieved to have made it out of the home.

“I’m just glad I woke up,” Hightower told NBC 7.

Another dog was given oxygen by SDFD and was later able to walk away with its owner.

Refresh for updates.

<![CDATA[SD Nearly Tops List of Nation's Median Home Prices at $593K]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:00:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-skyline-020916.jpg

San Diego ranked second just behind San Francisco as the most expensive place to buy a home in the United States.

The median home price in America's Finest City is a whopping $593,500, according to a study by mortgage research firm HSH.

Someone seeking to buy said median priced home must earn $113,530.43 per year, the study shows.

San Francisco, unsurprisingly, was the most expensive city to purchase a home, with a $835,000 media home price. Unexpectedly, however, San Francisco is not followed by New York City, yet another metropolis known for its astronomical home prices.

Another California city rounds out the top three unenviable positions in the HSH list: Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, the median home price is $503,400 and the salary needed to acquire a home is $98,315.22, according to HSH's findings.  

Separately, the national average median home price is $235,000 and people can go shopping with $51,962.53, the study indicates.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[OK Foods Recalls Chicken Products Due to Possible Contamination]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:22:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/RecalledBreadedChickens.jpg

OK Food Inc. is recalling about 933,272 pounds of breaded chicken products that may have been contaminated with metal and other materials, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The problem was discovered when the Oklahoma-based company received five consumer complaints that stated metal objects were found in the "ready-to-eat" chicken, USDA said.

The ready-to-eat breaded chicken items were produced on various dates from Dec. 19, 2016 through March 7, 2017. A list of the products subject to recall can be found here.

The recalled products have the marking “P-7092” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The breaded chickens were shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide.

After and internal investigation, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the objects in all the complaints came from metal conveyor belting.

"There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products," the USDA said. "Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider."

Customers are being urged not to consume these products and should throw away or return them.

For more information about the recall, contact Abby Brown at (479) 312-2409. Media with questions about the recall can contact Jordan Johnson at (501) 944-7891.

Photo Credit: USDA]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Taken to Hospital After SUV Crashes into Fedex Truck]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:28:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/000ggdgdcms1.jpg

A driver of a Landrover lost control of his vehicle, went off the road and crashed into a Fedex truck on Interstate 5 at Main Street. The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The driver of the Landrover was rescued from the car and taken to the hospital.

Another Fedex truck took the deliveries from the first truck to deliver the rest of the packages.

The Main Street onramp to I-5 south was shut down for a while, but crews are clearing the lanes now.

It is unclear how severe the driver’s injuries are. There were no other reported injuries.

No other information was available.

Please refresh this page for updates on this breaking story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vecaro LifeStyle Recalls Hoverboards Due to Fire Hazard]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:50:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/recalled-hoverboard.jpg

Three different types of Vecaro brand self-balancing scooters have been recalled, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall impacts the Glide 65, Drift 8 and Trek 10 scooters after at least three reports of the hoverboards smoking. Hoverboards have one wheel at each end of a platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs.

The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.

No injuries or property damage have been reported.

The hoverboards come in black, white, red, blue, gold, silver, graffiti print and flame print.

The products were sold at The Audio Shop and Stereo Zone in California and online at VecaroLifeStyle.com from November 2015 through November 2016 for between $300 and $400.

If you have one of these self-balancing scooters, you should stop using them and contact Vecaro for a free repair or a credit toward another product.

If you’re thinking of buying a hoverboard, the safety commission says you need to look for a mark or label that reads "underwriters laboratories standard UL 2272." That's the highest safety standard.

And if you do have a hoverboard that hasn't been recalled, here are three things you can do as a precaution:

  • Do not charge them overnight.
  • Do not charge them unattended.
  • Have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher nearby.
For more information on the recalled products, contact Vecaro toll-free at 855-637-4061 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.VecaroLifeStyle.com and click on Recall Notice at the bottom of the page for more information.

    Photo Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission]]>
    <![CDATA[CA Lawmakers, Scripps CEO React to Scrap of Health Care Vote]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:37:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-657423714.jpg

    Hours after Republicans pulled the vote in the House of Representatives on their bill to replace Obamacare Friday, local congressmen and senators weighed in on why the bill failed to garner enough support.

    Democratic Senator Kamala Harris gave a speech earlier this week in opposition to the bill.

    In a statement Friday she said:

    “This is a testament to the millions of Americans who stood up and spoke out to reject the idea that health care is a privilege and not a right. This sends a clear message to President Trump and Republicans. We will not cut the deficit by cutting care. We will not give tax breaks to insurers while giving higher medical bills to patients. We will not tell seniors, cancer patients, and women, ‘you’re on your own.’ Our constituents sent us to Washington to help improve the lives of all Americans, whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. It’s time we do that.”

    Congresswoman Karen Bass, a Democract representing LA, said in her statement that Democrats will keep standing up for people with pre-existing conditions and make sure that the marketplace provides coverage for those who need it. Her statement reads in part:

    “Through the president’s proud negotiating tactics, the People’s House was left today to deliberate on a rushed bill that would have been more expensive than the president’s initial draft, yet still manage to abandon the same 24 million Americans by 2026. The pulling of this bill reflects the White House’s devastating inexperience and the inability of the Republican Party to effectively govern this body. I hope that the past weeks have sent the White House a strong message on behalf of the American people about their plans for the future of health care in our country.”

    Democratic Rep. Susan Davis called the failure a “victory for the American people and our democracy,” in her statement. “It’s a testament to the power of the American people to have their voices heard on a bill that would have directly impacted their lives. I hope they will continue to weigh in and show this administration that its reckless policies will not pass muster with them. Clearly the American people didn't buy the Art of Repeal. The president just learned that health care's not just business - it's personal when people's lives are at stake.”

    Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas called the failed bill “disastrous” and said it looks like it might be the beginning of the end of the Trump agenda.

    “The Deal-Maker-in-Chief wasn’t able to deliver on one of his key promises,” Vargas said in the statement. “I’m glad they pulled the bill. Hopefully, this means that my Republican colleagues acknowledged how disastrous Trumpcare would be for millions of people across the country. It's time for us to come together to find bipartisan solutions and make improvements to our health care system that will lower costs and increase access to quality, equitable and affordable health care for all Americans."

    Republican Congressman Darrell Issa said the millions of Americans who had their insurance plans cancelled and and suffered premium hikes under Obamacare are depending on lawmakers repealing and replacing the law.

    “We must deliver relief from this law and return choice back to the people, however the [American Health Care Act] was an imperfect approach and I believe that we can do better,” he said in his statement. Issa said they will "go back to the drawing board” to get it right for Americans worried about rising costs.


    Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder also made a statement regarding the pulling of the bill. He said the political fight has created a lot of uncertainty in the health care industry, but said that maintaining the status quo isn’t a good option either. His statement reads in full:

    “Now that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have pulled the new health care bill, the obvious question is what will happen next.

    Clearly this is far from being over. The political battle waged over the last two months has created a great deal of uncertainty for everyone in the health care industry, including health care providers like Scripps Health.

    At the same time, maintaining the status quo isn’t an attractive option. While extending insurance coverage to millions of more Americans under the Affordable Care Act has been a great accomplishment, we can all agree that the original legislation has some flaws that need to be addressed.

    Perhaps this pause in the partisan firestorm in Washington offers the perfect opportunity to find consensus in this incredibly important debate.

    I believe these priorities offer the keys to success: Making sure as many Americans as possible have insurance coverage; ensuring that coverage is affordable; and giving health care providers a seat at the table to hammer out the details since we are the ones who better understand the downstream impact of health reform legislation.

    Just as Obamacare represented the will of the Democrats, Trumpcare or Ryancare represents the interests of the Republicans. Such partisan-based approaches will always be handicapped by the opposite party’s out-of-hand rejection.

    Instead, we should all be joining forces to create AmericasCare – legislation based on compromise and flexibility.

    Acting in a truly bipartisan effort will provide a foundation to sustain the provisions of a health care law for years to come and to fix the inevitable problems that will surface as we move from political legislation to real-world experience. And it will move us closer than ever to the goals we all share – insurance coverage for all Americans, better access to care and improved quality.”

    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Man Accused of Wielding Hatchet in Robbery Pleads Not Guilty]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:46:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hatchet-Glock-Suspect-Final.jpg

    A man linked to three separate robberies at stores in San Diego’s East County, including a case in which he wielded at hatchet and asked a victim: “Want to get hit with a hatchet?” pleaded not guilty in court on Friday.

    Randall Lee, 22, of Lakeside, pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and a special allegation that he used a dangerous weapon in the robberies.

    Lee is being held on $150k bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 7.

    The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said that the series of robberies began at around 12:40 p.m. on Feb. 28, when the suspect tried to steal a camera from a Best Buy store located at 8401 Fletcher Parkway.

    When a security guard confronted the man about a camera that he was attempting to hide, the suspect pulled out a hatchet and asked the guard if he wanted to get hit with the weapon. Deputies said the suspect fled from the store in a brown, four-door Buick.

    Less than two weeks later – on March 12 – the suspect struck again, this time twice in one day.

    At 12:10 a.m., he stole several items from a Walmart store located at 13487 Camino Canada in unincorporated El Cajon, including two BB gun rifles. As he left the store, the suspect pulled out what was believed to be a CO2-style BB gun from his waistband.

    Deputies said the man pointed the gun at a manager and asked him, “Do you want to do this the hard way or the easy way?"

    The suspect walked toward the exit and fired the BB gun several times at the manager. He then fled the scene in an older model silver Buick.

    At 11 p.m. that same day, the suspect entered a Walmart at 170 Town Center Parkway in Santee. As he tried to leave the store, an assistant manager confronted him.

    Deputies said that’s when the suspect pulled a BB gun out of a backpack and fired multiple rounds at the assistant manager. The BBs missed the manager, but struck another employee in the shoulder. The employee was not hurt. The man fled the store in a car described by witnesses as a brown sedan.

    In this most recent incident, investigators said the suspect left behind a wallet in a shopping cart. The wallet was stolen, and belonged to a victim of identity theft. Three credit cards belonging to the ID theft victim were later used at three businesses in San Diego, the SDSO said.

    On Tuesday, the SDSO released surveillance photos in hopes that someone will recognize the man and help lead investigators to him.

    Lee turned himself in Tuesday evening, SDSO said, in connection to the robberies. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail.

    Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department]]>
    <![CDATA[Sinking Ships, Exploding Buildings: Dems Cheer on Twitter ]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:14:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/657057390-Paul-Ryan-Health-Care-Vote.jpg

    Democrats took to Twitter on Friday to mock the failure of the GOP's health care bill, usings GIFs of sinking ships and exploding buildings to mark the failure of the American Health Care Act, the Republican health care plan. 

    Tim Ryan, a Democratic representative from Ohio, tweeted a GIF of what appears to be the Titanic breaking in two. He added no commentary. 

    The House Democrats were more explicit, tweeting a GIF of an empty multi-story building collapsing, with the text: "The House Republican #TrumpCare health bill." 

    Other Democrats were more serious even as they celebrated the failure of what Republicans hoped would be President Trump's first legislative victory. Instead the Republicans' substitute for the much maligned Obamacare was pulled from consideration by Speaker Paul Ryan with Trump's agreement after it was clear that Republicans did not have the votes to pass it.

    Trump, who earlier had been insisting on a vote, told the Washington Post's Robert Costa that he did not blame Ryan for the bill's defeat. Trump insisted that Democrats were to blame, according to The New York Times.

    Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, tweeted "Art of the Squeel" in reply, playing off of Trump's book, "Art of the Deal."

    Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania asked House Republicans to end their "obsession with repeal, & work in a bipartisan way to keep what's working and fix what isn't?"

    New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney taunted Trump and Ryan in his tweet, telling them, "We're not tired of winning yet. Ready when you are to talk real solutions to fix ACA for American people."

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called the defeat of the "disastrous Trump-Ryan health care bill" a major victory for working families and everyone who stood in opposition.

    Finally the spokesman for former President Barack Obama, Kevin Lewis, tweeted out a 2010 photograph of Obama in a fighting stance on the day that the Affordable Care Act passed Congress.

    The link to the Instagram account of Obama's former photographer, Pete Souza, was titled, "The Obama White House."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[An Intimate Look at Mountain Lions in San Diego]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:05:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mountain-lion-032417.jpg

    There are a lot more eyes on one of Southern California's most elusive predators, mountain lions.

    Dave Bittner with the Wildlife Research Institute blames a combination of factors for the troubles facing the region's lions.

    "In two generations, if we don't stop the decline, we won't have mountain lions in Southern California, and that would be a sad state of affairs," Bittner said.

    Bittner is leading a project right now installing trap cameras around San Diego County's backcountry, and has put out the call for others to do the same.  Some people are already sharing their pictures.

    "We're networking to get all these pictures of mountain lions," Bittner said.

    The motion-activated cameras can be left for up to a year, capturing thousands of videos or still images day or night.

    Bittner does not want to give exact locations of those cameras in order to protect the animals, but will say the cameras are being set up on a deer trail.

    The goal is to see where the lions and their main food source are moving.

    Freeways and other development have been cutting off the routes lions use to move around Southern California.

    "The lions do not get back and forth often enough to breed and keep the population healthy," he said. "That's become one of the biggest problems."

    The other issue affecting the animals is California is depredation, or legally killing a lion when it attacks pets or livestock.

    According to the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife, more than 1,300 mountain lions have been killed statewide over the past decade and a half. 

    Seventeen of those were killed in San Diego County.

    He's hoping to eventually have 100 cameras in San Diego's backcountry. That type of expansion could take at least a decade.

    Find out more about the project and the state's legislative history regarding the mountain lion here.

    <![CDATA[DC's Missing Teens: What's True and What's Not]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:41:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/20170324+Missing+DC+Kids.jpg

    An Instagram post claiming 14 girls had disappeared in D.C. over a 24-hour period went viral across social media Thursday. 

    But that post is inaccurate. While the disappearance of any child is reason for concern, at no point in recent weeks have 14 girls disappeared from D.C. in a single day, police said Friday.

    Since March 19, D.C. police have shared 20 missing person fliers on Twitter; 10 of these people were juveniles. As of Friday, six of these juveniles had been found; four still were missing.

    D.C. police have said there has been no increase in the number of missing persons in their jurisdiction. They're just sharing information in a new way. 

    "We've just been posting them on social media more often," Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Reid said.

    Since implementing the tactic, Commander Chanel Dickerson, the new leader of the Youth and Family Services division, said the department has been able to close cases more quickly. 

    But the increased social media attention has caused concern in the D.C. area, especially since most of the teens on the missing-persons fliers were black or Latino. D.C. has long had a large minority population and is currently about 48 percent black.

    Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, called the police department's new tactic “a blessing and a curse,” WAMU reports.

    When News4 spoke with Wilson last year, she expressed concerns about the lack of attention missing people of color get from the media.

    But despite increased attention in recent weeks, some of the information being shared on social media by celebrities and bloggers is inaccurate, increasing concern in the community but spreading falsehoods.

    Here's what you need to know about children reported missing in D.C.:

    What Exactly Is Happening in DC?
    According to local police data, the number of missing child cases in the District dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016. The highest total recently, 2,610, was back in 2001.

    So far this year, the District has logged a total of 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, according to the police department. All but a handful have been solved.

    Twenty-two juvenile cases remained open as of March 24, according to the department's website. Police only had the photos of 13 of these youth, who are considered “critical missing persons.”

    That number changes frequently. The police department updates the number of current missing person cases daily. 

    Does DC Have a Human Trafficking Issue?
    All of the teens who have reported missing in 2017 left voluntarily, police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal said.

    Dickerson said she thinks the department's new tactic has fueled concerns that teens in the city are being kidnapped.

    "Because of the number of releases, there have been concerns that young girls in the District of Columbia are victims of human trafficking or have been kidnapped," she said. 

    There's no evidence to suggest that D.C. has a human trafficking problem, the police spokeswoman said. 

    "We look at every case closely to make sure that doesn't happen, but to my knowledge, that hasn't been a factor in any of our missing person cases," Bilal said. 

    So far, all of the juveniles reported missing 2017 left their locations voluntarily, she added. 

    Then Why Am I Seeing This All Over Social Media?
    Several high-profile accounts, including some belonging to celebrities, have shared graphics containing inaccurate information about the number of missing juveniles in D.C. 

    Actress Taraji P. Henson, rapper LL Cool J and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons were among the celebrities who shared the post claiming that 14 girls had vanished in a single day.

    Some people deleted their posts once they were made aware of the inaccuracies. 

    "When relaying information about this, we have to be careful we relay the correct info because these are all peoples little girls," singer Kehlani posted on her Instagram account after she deleted the inaccurate photo.

    Why Do Teens Run Away?
    A number of issues can factor into a child's decision to leave their home. According to the National Runaway Safeline, most of their callers identified family dynamics, peer and social issues or abuse as reasons why they left or were contemplating leaving. 

    "We need to find out the underlying reasons that so many young people in the District of Columbia have chosen to leave home voluntarily because they feel they have no other alternatives," Dickerson said. 

    Who Is Considered a 'Critical Missing Person'?
    Police in D.C. define a “critical missing person” as any person under the age of 15 or over the age of 65.

    The circumstances surrounding their disappearance can also result in a "critical missing" designation. Currently, 18 juveniles who were reported missing in 2017 have been listed as critical missing persons, according to the police department's website.  

    Why Were No AMBER Alerts Issued for These Juveniles?
    Missing children have to meet a set number of criteria to have an AMBER Alert issued. 

    The Department of Justice recommends the following:

    • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
    • The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
    • There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction.
    • The child is 17 years old or younger.
    • The child’s name and other critical data elements have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.

    But none of the cases that are currently open in D.C. meet that criteria, police said. 

    "We have no evidence in any of these cases that anyone was kidnapped or is the victim of sex trafficking," Dickerson said. 

    What's Being Done to Help These Teens?
    The police department's biggest push has been using social media to share information about missing people in the city. Dickerson said the department still needs the public's help. 

    "In order to find out the root cause of this issue and ensure that our runaway numbers decrease, then we have to work together," she said Friday during a Facebook Live broadcast. 

    Dickerson said adults should not let children stay in their homes without the permission of that child's parent. 

    "That's what we found in some cases. We found our missing persons in the home with other adults," she said. 

    Dickerson said anyone who sees a child out of school during school hours should get police involved. 

    "There may be some issues going on with that child," the police commander said.

    Photo Credit: DC Police ]]>
    <![CDATA[Knife Attack at Trolley Stop in Downtown San Diego]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:27:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-police-generic-05.jpg

    A man has been arrested for a knife attack in the downtown area that happened Friday, according to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).

    The suspect, 38 year-old Alessandra Conate, approached the male victim saying that he did not like the way he was looking at him, SDPD said.

    The victim was waiting for a trolley on 500 C St. when Conate suddenly pulled out a small folding knife and attacked the victim, according to SDPD. The victim suffered a minor laceration to his left hand.

    SDPD said Conate also punched the victim in the face.

    The victim called San Diego police officers who were able to arrive and arrest Conate on scene at around 8 a.m.

    SDPD said that Conate fought with police officers and even spit on one of them. The officers suffered minor injuries.

    Conate was taken into custody and booked into County Jail. Detectives are now investigating the incident.

    SDPD said that anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

    <![CDATA[Local Rep. Hunter Under Investigation by DOJ]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:40:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Duncan-Hunter-GettyImages-494333797.jpg

    The Justice Department is looking into whether U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District), who represents parts of San Diego, violated campaign finance rules. 

    The announcement comes after the House Ethics Committee conducted an investigation into a possible ethics violation and an inquiry launched by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

    The ethics panel did not disclose the nature of the investigation, but a Washington-based watchdog group filed a complaint last spring alleging that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses.

    The Justice Department is looking at the legality of about $60,000 going from Hunter's campaign committee toward the personal expenses.

    The political funds he had spent over a nearly two-year period went to hotels as far away as Italy, posh department stores and restaurants, cigars, entertainment, jewelry, groceries, dental services, airfare, health care, school tuition, electricity, water and cable TV at his home in Alpine.

    Hunter’s people cited sloppy records and bookkeeping.

    On Thursday, internet traffic was busy with news that House Ethics Committee members have suspended their review of the spending, as the Justice Department investigates Hunter's actions.

    Hunter’s lawyers, one a former U.S. Attorney in San Diego, issued a statement saying that Hunter "maintains that to the extent any mistakes were made, they were strictly inadvertent and unintentional."

    "For his attorneys to say that this was just a case of 'Oospie'? That's not the kind of 'oopsie' we can afford," says Sean Van Diver, director of San Diego's chapter of the Truman National Security Project.

    Van Diver, in an interview Thursday with NBC 7, said the Justice Department's focus on Hunter is serious business: "If you're an elected official, the buck stops with you. No matter what your staff is doing, no matter what the perception is, the buck stops with you."

    Using their home as collateral, Hunter and his wife borrowed $57,000 in reimbursing his campaign committee after the payments in question came to light and created a furor.

    His annual salary is $174,000.

    Hunter's attorneys, Elliot S. Berke and Gregory A. Vega,  said in a statement to NBC 7 that the charges were in no way hidden from the FEC, rather, Hunter’s campaign reported the personal expenses in their quarterly reports.

    “Last year, Congressman Hunter became aware of expenditure issues confronting his campaign committee. Out of an abundance of caution, he took corrective action in consultation with the FEC and, ultimately, he and his wife personally repaid the campaign approximately $60,000. Congressman Hunter intends to cooperate fully with the government on this investigation, and maintains that to the extent any mistakes were made they were strictly inadvertent and unintentional.”

    Hunter, 40, represents parts of Escondido, Ramona, Alpine, Pala, Julian and other parts of East San Diego County. He won a fifth term representing San Diegans last fall. 

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

    <![CDATA[PICS: Red Hot Chili Peppers]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:48:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Red+Hot+Chili+Peppers+3.21.17+Alex+Matthews+%282%29.jpg Give it away now: The Red Hot Chili Peppers packed Valley View Casino Center on March 21.]]> <![CDATA[Larsen Field Parking Tickets Anger San Ysidro Residents]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:47:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-82636875.jpg

    Residents living near the San Ysidro outlets are angry at the City of San Diego for handing out parking tickets at Larsen Field, in an area that lacks sufficient parking.

    One resident, Toribio Galaviz, is fighting a ticket he received for parking at Larsen Field near his home.

    “We recently began to get ticketed for parking at a park, where we used to regularly park for more than 10 years,” explains Galaviz.

    He received the 50 dollar citation on Wednesday night.  

    Galaviz lives in an apartment complex with nearly 500 units. The shortage of parking is compounded by the traffic from the outlets across the street and people leaving their cars parked overnight while they vacation in Mexico.

    The border is about a mile away.

    Galaviz is concerned that constant tickets and towing fees will be detrimental to his community’s financial well being.

    “I may be able to afford a ticket, but my neighbors might not be able to afford constant tickets or getting their cars towed,” said Galaviz.

    Others worry about safety. Some people park up to a mile away from their homes in hopes of not getting a ticket.

    “They are running that risk of being at night going to their cars,” said Guadalupe Galaviz, who has two sisters he worries about.

    City officials say they are not the ones issuing the citations. Their parking enforcement personnel does not patrol during no parking hours.

    San Diego Police said they recently received two calls for service for Larsen Field but only issued one citation.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/moodboard RF]]>
    <![CDATA[Former Trump University Students Poised to Get Refund]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:30:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-52968867-university.jpg

    Thousands of former Trump University students could get refunds equaling 80 percent of their tuition.

    The President last year agreed to settle allegations of fraud at his now defunct university.

    Court papers filed late Thursday afternoon confirm that students who paid for a three-day seminar and "Gold Elite" program would each get a refund of about $30,000.

    Almost 4,000 former students would qualify for that 80 percent refund.

    They joined a class action lawsuit against Trump and his Trump University.

    Two of those former students are challenging the settlement.

    You can view the full documents here.

    But attorneys for the other plaintiffs said the settlement agreed to by President Trump is an excellent outcome for all the disgruntled former students.

    “The numbers are in, and they end any debate about the fairness of this Settlement,” the lawyers wrote in their latest legal motion. “No rational actor could expect to do better at trial, especially in a case where…Class Members may have been required to put up individualized proof of their damages to get any relief."

    They also note that the two dissenters make up just 0.05 percent of the class action.

    A judge will hear those objections and is expected to approve or reject the proposed settlement at a hearing next week at San Diego’s federal courthouse.

    According to the lawsuits, Trump University is accused of misleading students with unfulfilled promises of teaching them the secret to being successful in the real estate business.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA['Devastating': 2 Dead Vaquitas Found in Ocean]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:31:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/3-22-17-Dead+Vaquita+Found+Floating+in+Gulf+of+California+Sea+Shepherd.jpg

    The remains of two vaquitas, a critically endangered species of porpoise, were found in the waters off the coast of California in the span of one month. A conservation group calls the discovery alarming.

    The vaquita porpoise is on the verge of extinction, with only 30 left in the world, conservation group Sea Shepard says.

    "It is devastating," said OonaLayolle, captain of Sea Shepard. "It's been like three years we are now patrolling the north of the Gulf of California and this is really what we don't want to see. It's just so sad."

    Loyolle, who has been heading the organization for four years now, said they work in collaboration with the Mexican government to battle illegal fishing and poaching in the oceans.

    According to Sea Shepard, a pre-born vaquita was found floating in the Gulf of California, just south of San Felipe on March 12.

    Just a week later, the carcass of a female adult vaquita was found in the waters off Baja California.

    “Having a preborn death is devastating," Loyelle said.

    Loyolle said the vaquitas are getting trapped by illegal fishing nets placed on the sea bed to catch the totoaba bass.

    The fish are popular for their swim bladders which are smuggled into China and sold on the black market. Often, they are used for medicinal purposes, bringing in $20,000 per kilo, Loyolle said. 

    She added that fisherman catch the totoaba, take the swim bladders and then throw the fish back into the sea. 

    Sea Shepard crews found 17 floating dead totoabas without swim bladders recently. 

    On March 14, they found 66 dead totoabas. Loyolle said the numbers tell an alarming story--that the market for swim bladders is getting bigger which could impact the vaquita population as well.

    She said their organization is doing what it can to help the rare mammal.

    “When we started this campaign, we wanted to do anything that was possible to save the Vaquita," she said. "But what we’re doing there is also saving so many other species because those nets are catching a lot of different marine creatures, like sharks [and] whales. So cleaning the bottom of the sea from all those illegal nets is really important.”

    California Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, has introduced a bill to help save the vaquitas. The bill would make it illegal to possess or sell fish products caught in the northern Gulf of California with a gillnet.

    Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd]]>
    <![CDATA[2 Trains Sideswipe at NYC Station, No Injuries Reported]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:19:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/NJT+Train+Damage+2.png

    UPDATE: Riders Brace for Travel Nightmare After Amtrak Derailment Wreaks Havoc at Penn Station

    An Amtrak train bound for Washington, D.C., had a minor derailment as it was leaving New York's Penn Station at the height of Friday's morning rush, bumping an NJ Transit train and shattering windows but causing no serious injuries, authorities said. 

    NJ Transit said one of its trains on the Montclair/Boonton line was coming into the Manhattan transit hub shortly after 9 a.m. when the departing Acela sideswiped it between the north tube and the station. Amtrak said its Acela Express Train 2151 from Boston "had a minor derailment while moving at a slow speed" leaving Penn, and then "made contact" with the NJT train. 

    "The rear of the train was still on the platform, and all 248 passengers have exited the train onto the platform and into the station safely," the statement said. "Service into and out of New York Penn Station will be delayed while we investigate this incident." 

    Photos posted to social media showed the accordion-like component between the cars of the Amtrak train crunched in one spot. More severe damage was apparent on the NJ Transit train; photos showed twisted pieces of metal in parts, and passengers said some windows of the back cars were knocked out. 

    The Federal Railroad Administration said it sent investigators to the scene. 

    Jordan Geary was sitting next to his wife on NJ Transit train 6214 when he says he heard a loud "explosion" next to his head. Some of the windows were disconnected and some smashed, Geary said, adding, "Thankfully everyone is okay." 

    NJ Transit said about 1,000 people were on the train at the time and several minor injuries to customers and crew were reported, but everyone was expected to be OK. 

    Scott Parsons, a passenger in the last car of the train, described hearing a loud screech. Bright sparks followed, he said, and the lights went out. 

    PATH was cross-honoring tickets for both Amtrak, including Keystone Service, and NJ Transit riders, but photos showed PATH trains were jam-packed by late morning, and the evening commute was expected to be a nightmare. Click here for the latest transit alternatives.

    Arrival and departure screens in Penn Station were littered with cancellations and delays. The MTA said Long Island Rail Road service was also experiencing delays.

    Photo Credit: Twitter / @THEJordanGeary]]>
    <![CDATA[Mother-in-Law Sentenced in Fallbrook Man's Death]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:57:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cynthia-Cdebaca1-0218.jpg

    A woman, convicted of killing her son-in-law in Fallbrook three years ago, was sentenced Thursday to 50 years to life in prison.

    Cynthia Cdebaca, 63, shot her son-in-law Geoward Flores Eustaquio 15 times, on Feb. 11, 2014, stopping twice to reload. 

    The 53-year-old man was killed inside his home on Braemer Terrace. He was a military reservist, a real estate agent and a rugby coach for local kids.

    According to investigators, Cdebaca fatally shot Eustaquio after he made a comment about her clothing. 

    "This is definitely an example of how family matters can become complicated. But at the end of the day, no matter whether you're related or not, this was a premeditated, deliberate, willful first degree murder," said Deputy District Attorney, Keith Watanabe on Thursday. "The defendant planned, and executed the victim in this case."

    She told investigators that if her son-in-law were alive, she would shoot him again.

    After the shooting, Cdebaca threw the gun into a drainage ditch and went to Denny's to eat breakfast. She then went to Pechanga Resort & Casino to gamble, bought cigarettes at a liquor store and even visited a coffee shop.

    Cdebaca was arrested at the coffee shop.

    Her two grandsons spoke to NBC 7 exclusively, saying that Cdebaca often clashed with their father over his "tough love" style of parenting.

    In Aug. 2014, Cdebaca was found competent to stand trial.

    She convicted of first-degree murder by the jury in Feb., 2017.

    <![CDATA[7-Year-Old Boy Hit by Amazon Van in Santee]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/03-23-17+Santee+Amazon+van+hit+child.jpg

    A 7-year-old boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital with a head injury after being struck by an Amazon van in Santee Thursday afternoon.

    The incident occurred at 3:46 p.m. on the 10800 block of Woodside Avenue near the State Route 67. 

    According to a witness, the boy was riding a scooter in the driveway of his home when he rolled into the street and was struck by the van.

    At the time, he was not wearing a helmet, the witness told NBC 7.

    The boy's injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

    He was conscious and talking when he was transported to the hospital.

    No other information was available.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
    <![CDATA[82-Year-Old Volunteer Finds Purpose in Kindergarten]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:06:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Silas+Manspeaker+with+children.jpg

    An 82-year-old Little Italy man is redefining retirement by volunteering in kindergarten.

    Silas Manspeaker, or “Coach Si” as he is known at the Monarch School, volunteers every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the kindergarten class.

    He reads, plays games, and occasionally serves as referee breaking up disagreements.

    The Monarch School is unlike any other school in the country, because it only accepts kids impacted by homelessness.

    More than half of the kids wake up in shelters, while others sleep in cars or on random couches.

    Due to the obvious social challenges, many of the kids need extra attention, which Coach Si is quick to deliver.

    After working as a businessman for most his life and travelling the world, he says volunteering in the class gives him purpose.

    “People ask me why I do it and I say if you come over and spend the day you'll find out why, why would I not want to be with them? they love me I love them, we have fun together” said Coach Si.

    Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
    <![CDATA[Kaaboo Drops 2017 Lineup]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:49:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Red+Hot+Chilli+Peppers+Play.jpg

    The annual Del Mar festival dropped its 2017 lineup on Thursday, and it features some huge names.

    Headlining this year's three-day bash will be the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Muse.

    Also along for the ride are Weezer, Jane's Addiction, David Guetta, Ice Cube, Jason Derulo, Alanis Morissette, Jackson Brown, Andy Grammer, Garbage and dozens of other artists new and old, spanning all genres from rap to EDM to classic rock.

    This is the third iteration of the festival, which kicked off in 2015 and has featured iconic music acts like Aerosmith, Snoop Dogg and the Killers the last few years.

    This year's festival will take place from Sept. 15-17 and takes place again on the grounds of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and fairgrounds. It's expected to draw over 100,000 people over the weekend.

    Early birds were able to get cheaper tickets, but on Thursday, prices swelled to $259 (plus fees) for a three-day pass, with VIP packages available for steeper prices, of course.

    Some acts with local ties made it on the bill again this year, including the SD-based reggae rockers of Pepper, as well as the San Diego Music Award-winning dirty-blues duo Little Hurricane and Trouble in the Wind, who won an SDMA themselves on Tuesday and will headline our FREE SoundDiego LIVE event on March 30 at Music Box (get on the list here while you still can).

    The full Kaaboo 2017 lineup: 

    • Red Hot Chili Peppers
    • Pink
    • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
    • Muse
    • Weezer
    • Jane's Addiction
    • David Guetta
    • Ice Cube
    • Jason Derulo
    • Logic
    • Alanis Morissette
    • Jackson Browne
    • Andy Grammer
    • Kesha
    • Live
    • X Ambassadors
    • Garbage
    • Milky Chance
    • T-Pain
    • Michael McDonald
    • The Wallflowers
    • DJ Diesel (Shaquille O'Neal)
    • Machine Gun Kelly
    • Pepper
    • Timeflies
    • Pete Yorn
    • The Magpie Salute
    • Smash Mouth
    • The Knocks
    • Dave Mason
    • Toad the Wet Sprocket
    • LANY
    • Eric Burdon & the Animals
    • Lost Kings
    • Le Youth
    • The Him
    • The Tubes, featuring Fee Waybill
    • Trevor Hall
    • Fishbone
    • The Motet
    • The Shadowboxers
    • Little Hurricane
    • Sam Sparro
    • Kap Slap
    • Martin Jensen
    • Led Zeppelin 2
    • Emily Warren
    • Lawrence
    • The Stone Foxes
    • One Drop
    • SteevieWild
    • Darenots
    • The Last Internationale
    • Ages and Ages
    • Moonsville Collective
    • Armors
    • Luna Aura
    • Jared & The Mill
    • Ethan Tucker Solo Acoustic
    • The Steppin Stones
    • Tristen
    • Cordovas
    • Lost Beach
    • Mamafesta
    • Josh Arbour
    • Zeal Levin
    • Kira Lingman
    • Trouble in the Wind
    • Barenaked Ladies (Amplify VIP only)
    • The Dan Band (Amplify VIP only)

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Commerce Chief's Shipping Business Raises Conflict Questions]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:22:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-629852548.jpg

    When private equity billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. signed on to be President Donald Trump's commerce secretary, he agreed to divest millions of dollars in assets, NBC News reported.

    But one asset Ross plans to keep is his stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., one of the world's largest owners and operators of medium-range tanker vessels.

    In a new administration full of successful businessmen dealing with a complex web of conflict-of-interest concerns, Ross' part ownership of Diamond S Shipping stands out.

    A Center for Public Integrity examination of Diamond S Shipping's operations found its vessels sail under Chinese flags, even as Ross is being tapped to take an unusually muscular role shaping U.S. trade policy under President Trump's "America First" mantra. 

    Ross has said he doesn't believe the shipping investment presents a conflict, NBC News reported.

    Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[A Top US General Says Russia May Be Supplying Taliban]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:14:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/afghanistanfeuerherdIII.jpg

    Russia may be influencing and supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan, the top U.S. general in Europe told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, NBC News reported.

    Russia has largely been absent in Afghanistan since the Soviet Union's disastrous war there in the 1980s, but its role seems to be growing today, said Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who also serves as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, according to Reuters.

    "I've seen the influence of Russia of late — increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban," Scaparrotti said.

    His testimony comes in the wake of the Taliban's reported capture of the hotly contested town of Sangin in Afghanistan on Thursday.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Tax Preppers Profit by Blocking Free, Easy Returns: Analysis]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:32:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/turbotaxfeuerherd.jpg

    What if you could do your taxes for free, and fast? You could, but TurboTax makers Intuit and H&R Block have spent big bucks lobbying to make sure that never happens, NBC News reports.

    For years, tax prep companies have pushed back against "return-free filing" legislation that would have allowed the IRS to greatly simplify taxes for over 60 million people by offering pre-populated returns.

    The industry would rather people keep using Free File, which was used by 2.6 million people last year.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016" was endorsed by law professors and economists. It never made it out of committee.

    An Intuit spokeswoman said a proposed government program "minimizes the taxpayers' engagement in the process of their own compliance." H&R Block said taxpayers could miss out on valuable tax savings.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Suspect Arrested in Paradise Hill Hit and Run]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:46:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CLIP-PARADISE_HILLS_HIT_AND_RUN_video_1200x675_858677315523.jpg

    After a two-month investigation, police said the hit and run driver responsible for the death of a Paradise Hill mechanic is now in custody.

    Jose Padron, 49, was killed in front of his house, while getting an umbrella from his car to give to his wife.

    The suspect, 47-year-old James Robbins was already in custody on a parole violation when San Diego Police determined his connection to the hit and run.

    Police said Robbins was behind the wheel of the silver car when he hit Padron, who was carried some 40 feet down Albemarle Street.

    A video, recorded on a neighbor Butch Leonberger's surveillance camera, lead investigators first to the suspect car, then to the driver. 

    "It's a decision that person made that he is going to have to live with it,” Leonberger said.

    He told NBC 7, he installed the security system three years ago to protect his own family.

    "If it could help any of our neighbors or the person down the street help solve something like this, I am all for it,” Leonberger said.

    Close family friend Lauren Marcial said a conviction could help the family find closure.

    “Without that video, he probably would have gotten away,” Marcial said.

    The actual hit and run isn't on the video but it does show what happened seconds later. The driver stops for 10 seconds, signals to get back in traffic, and then drives away.

    Marcial said it reveals Robbins' state of mind.

    "He was conscious enough to where he pulled over and stopped to think about what just happened,” Marcial said.

    Police said Robbins is now charged with felony hit and run charges and is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges Monday.

    <![CDATA[Toddlers in Amber Alert Found Safe Inside Stolen Car: Police]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/blurred-toddlers.PNG

    Editor's Note: The article has been updated to reflect that the boys have been found.

    The two boys that were in the backseat of a car while it was stolen were found safe inside the abandoned vehicle early Friday in Desert Hot Springs, police said.

    Jayden and Carlos Cortez were found by Riverside County Sheriff's deputies inside the abandoned white Honda Accord, with its engine still on, at around 2:40 a.m. parked at a church in the 17400 block of Bubbling Springs Road, Cathedral City police said.

    Jayden, 1, and Carlos, 2, was taken to a hospital for evaluation and have since been reunited with their family, authorities said. 

    The person who stole the vehicle has not been located.

    The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert Thursday night after a thief took the car with the two toddlers in the backseat.

    An unknown suspect stole the white 2016 Honda Accord at around 6:45 p.m. in the 31500 Block of Whispering Palms Drive. They were last seen heading to Ramon Road, according to NBC affiliate KMIR. The car has tinted windows. The license plate is 7TJR654.

    The boys were in their babysitters' car when she stepped out for an errand and someone stole it.

    There were no immediate details about the person who took the car.

    Anyone with information regarding this crime can contact Det. Alirio Moulin at 760-770-0381 or Sgt. Alberto Ruiz at 760-770-0320.

    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>